Ashley Feasley of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops joins host Bob Gilligan to talk about a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled an effort to rescind the DACA program was "arbitrary and capricious." Chicago attorney Jim Geoly discusses a different U.S. Supreme Court decision that safeguards religious freedom in employment at Catholic schools. Finally, Dr. Jim Rigg, superintendent of the Archdiocese of Catholic Schools, talks about the safeguards put in place for the reopening of schools this fall amid the ongoing pandemic.
Pope Francis today announced that he has named Bishop Ronald A. Hicks, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago, as the sixth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Joliet, Ill. Pope Francis had previously accepted the resignation of Bishop Emeritus R. Daniel Conlon and had named Bishop Richard E. Pates as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese until a new bishop could be appointed. Bishop Hicks, 52, will be installed at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet, Ill. on September 29, 2020.
The Little Sisters of the Poor today notched a big win in their fight for religious freedom, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 against a challenge by two states that argued an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide employee health insurance coverage of contraceptives violated federal law. But the victory may be short-lived, since the court left open the possibility for opponents to challenge in lower courts the exemption as arbitrary and capricious. Any further litigation will most assuredly continue past the 2020 election, which could bring a new U.S. president and his perspective on the issue.
The U.S. Supreme Court today looked to a 2012 decision establishing the doctrine of “ministerial exception” in ruling that Catholic school teachers could not sue for employment discrimination. In writing the majority opinion in the 7-2 decision in Our Lady of Guadalupe School vs. Morrissey-Berru, Justice Samuel Alito expanded upon the concept of “ministerial exception” created in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School vs. EEOC. In the 2012 case, the court ruled that ministers could not sue churches and religious institutions for employment discrimination. The high court today agreed the exception applied to two Catholic school teachers because they played a key role in educating their students in the faith.
The U.S. Supreme Court today in a 5-4 vote ruled against a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions in the state to have admitting privileges in nearby hospitals, four years after striking down an almost-identical Texas law. Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the four liberal-leaning justices in rebuffing the Louisiana law, pointing in a separate concurring opinion to the legal doctrine of stare decisis – the idea that courts should generally not overrule their rulings made in prior cases.
The U.S. Supreme Court today in a 5-4 vote ruled against the Trump administration’s decision to end a popular program safeguarding young, working undocumented immigrants from deportation, stating the 2017 rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was “arbitrary and capricious.” The USCCB welcomed the ruling and urged President Trump to maintain the program while also encouraging the U.S. Senate to immediately pass legislation providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers.